Free Tips

Free Tips

This page contains some handy tips to keep you going, It also contains opinions which, comes from a lot of experience. Please always use your own good judgement as well. Some poeple may be shocked by some of the things contained here but remeber: The most "Popular" things are not always best. Also remeber the forces in charge of making things popular are frequently engaged in deals with people wanting to sell computers or software or both; so many times the easiest, most popular path is not the best choice for your computer as it may be designed to make you feel you need a newer faster computer !
Careful software choices, Careful setup choices.

Loading and unloading software is a tricky thing, the most important point to make here is that aside from the function of each thing what is overlooked is the permanent effect of all software. Most people do not know that when you install a software and then remove it, there is NO way to totally remove it! Most of the files are deleted and many times the file associations are restored, and some registry entries are deleted, but in most cases registry entries and configuration files are left behind. This slows your computer down, as it has to process these all the time. Do you plug and unplug USB hardware, frequently? USB hardware is great and very, very useful, but your computer NEVER forgets any piece that was stuck into it. If you change ports the computer treats it like a new piece of hardware everytime you plug it in. If you think about this, all you need to do to slow your computer to a crawl is stick thumb drive in and out for a while. This is more minor than some things, but it clearly adds up, I'm simply saying think before using things. The same as your car, driving it wears it out, now its no good if you can't drive it but you don't just go drive circles around the block for no reason do you? Computers are the same way, don't abuse them.

The Good Guys ** Totally Approved The Bad Guys Never, EVER do this:
Windows Defender FREE!!
Windows Media Player
Nero Burning ROM v6 or older
Norton System works 2003 or older
ALL Windows Updates FREE!!
Internet Explorer
AdAware By lavasoft
Spybot search and destroy
Microsoft Office
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe Premiere
Windows Power Toys FREE !!
Many More Just Ask Me!
Lime Wire
Napster
Kazaa
Any File Share, or too good to be true application *20
Click on any window you don't know why it is open *20
AOL *80
Any disk or software to get internet of any kind *10
Symantec Win Fax *40
The Gray Guys
Some care may be needed during setup or use. Be cautious and call for help if needed. DO NOT continute if you are unsure!!!!
Windows live Messenger *50
Messenger plus
*90 VNC, pcAnywhere, etc, *60
Nero Burning ROM 7 or newer *30
Norton System works 2004 or newer *40
iTunes *70
Acrobat Reader. *50
Flash Player
Some Other Random Tips
ISPs Internet Service Providers have the desire to block your "standard" email ports, many ISP's block standard email ports 25 and 110 now to try to get you to use their email instead of your own. They hide behind the buzzword "security" but it's simply not true. Email accounts we offer have a workaround to this issue. If you need a custom email such as you@ your domain.com instead of you @ your ISP .com let us know !


ISPs Also like to try to be software and content providers. *80 I simply feel that ISPs should be just that and no more "Internet Service Providers" and simply provide internet connectivity, what you do with it and your computer(s) should be up to you and your IT professional. Its a good rule to follow to NEVERinstall a disk from your ISP EVER,*10 We provide many IT solutions from the simple home user to the corporation with many workstations.


SECURITY, Most security issues lie in the hands of a properly trianed user, there are of course good tools to use to help fight viruses, malware, spyware and adware. The best one is you. There is misconception that Macs are more secure, and Windows is vulnerable. This is skewed; most virus and malware writers indeed do not target Macs since only about 2% of thecomputer users surfing the net are Mac users. If you are considering buying a Mac computer consieder the specific needs you feel it will provide. If these needs can be met in a Windows based computer the trade off in severely reduced function and painful experience of integrating with others is not worth the slightly false sense of security in buying a Mac that costs a lot more. I use all platforms here for various purposes and have never had virus or malware issues. Most really "Bad" stuff comes from sites offering somethig they can't afford to offer, like cheap music or pictures, or things too good to pass up that draw in certain people regardless. Consult with us today about your specific needs and we can build or guide you to a system that is perfect for you.


KIDS and computers, Kids need computers, they need to learn how to use them properly and be productive with them. They also need to be guided and protected, kids are lured into many things The internet moves at a frantic pace and peer pressure is huge. Anonyminity makes kids do things they would not otherwise do. Some are bad for them, some are bad for the computer, Many are GREAT! Take care and counsel your kids, See us for tips and protective tools too.


PAPER, At Fundamental Technologies LLC, we are committed to reducing Waste, Cost, and Pollution by eliminating paper. Along with learning to use computers kids and most adults need to learn the new Green and correct way of "Refusing To print" Printing has been a part of computers since the beginning and such a minor need for various things. Many people simply use their computer to over print things. Consider a few things, paper documents are out of date the instant you click "print", Electronic documents, especially centrally located ones following the rule of "one place" are always up to date no matter how many people use them. You can actually "Print Yourself a FREE New Computer" Try It ! Add up all your paper and ink costs and then, join " The "Refuse To Print Club" and see how long it takes to save up for a new computer! Along the way you can feel better about the environment and your skills at keeping people informed and conected without creating out of date waste. I have run a mostly paperless office for 13 years now. Email or web postings replace newsletters, invoices, reciepts, letters, documents, and so much more. We offer many web based and server based applications to help you do this!


PICTURES, Windows includes almost all of the tools you will need for your pictures! A good serious photo editor is the only thing to add, like Adobe PhotoShop or another editor of your choice / budget. Too many people get misled into installing all kinds of photo junk with their printers and other hardware. It's just not needed and it gets in the way of doing things the easy way! If you need help or more information please ask us.


PRINTERS,The exception to the "paper" rule is oc course a Great Photo Printer to print that occasional really good shot to hang up. We belive in only printing the ones you want to hang or make something with. When you do want to print a photo you will need a nice photo printer. There are many to choose from ask us! Many printers, however, come over bundled *50 They are trying to make the cost of the printer lower by making you pay with your computer ! If you buy a new printer the first thing to do is THROW OUT THE DISK!, Yup its true, ask us for details on how to install a new printer without ruining your computer or messing up the way you are used to things working.


MONITORS, We all love those great new flat moitors and they are great for the environmet too!, Just remember like printers, THROW OUT THE DISK (or recycle it as a coaster)! You will NEVER need to use a disk to get a monitor to work right! They just want to sell you something else.


INSTRUCTIONS, If you need a driver, instructions or help almost all manuals for a wide variety of products (not just computers) are now online in various forms, mostly PDF. This wonderful eco friendly resource is worth remembering, even older items out of manufacture are there. I haved found lost instructions to many many items online as well as help on numerous topics, Just remember, use your good judgemnent, and DONT PRINT them, SAVE them as files in my documents.!

Details and Explanations
*10 If you have no network card (NIC) you may need a driver but only really old computers have no NIC, otherwise connecting to the internet or any related hardware, routers etc. requires NO software. Any disks provided are to make you load ISP specific changes or sales items. The Internet NEVER requires DISKS !! Never connect to the internet with anything other than a Telephone wire or Cat5 Cable, do NOT use a USB or other item. If you are using a Wireless setup get the wireless device in another computer or device and use the Cat5 to come into your system. We can provide you with needed hardware as well.


*20 General rule of thumb, If you are getting something for too little money or free, you are paying for it with your computer, your information and your security. If music is less than about $1.00 / song you are probably going to regret it later.


*30 Many applications try to change the default associations of files when they are loaded so things do not open the way you expect anymore. Usually care simply needs to be taken in making the right choices during install.


*40 The trend here is to replace good, included, solid functions of Windows with third party stuff that is not needed, In almost all cases Windows has a function to do most things and is likely the best option, most people don't know about the functions. Winfax simply performs poorly as well.


*50 Over Bundling, Acrobat reader is a needed tool but aside from having gotten just huge in file size it now comes bundled with tool bars not needed, no one needs any of the toolbars out there, they take up speed and space and all of the internet is simply on the internet. Live Messenger is a great IM and the only one I use, but you have to strip the bundling and home page stealing out of it during install.


*60 Remote control software is a wonderful tool and I use it daily, you simply need to know Who, When and Why


*70 There may be no getting out of iTunes if you have to have an ipod instead of a more cost effective and better mp3 player, but use caution when letting it take over associations and "write" permissions to files. For network users its particularly difficult to get it to work right. iTunes also does not simply load your mp3 music it changes the file types completely, so make sure you have a good back up of your treasured music where iTunes can't get ahold of it. iTunes is also a comparitively poor and weak application with some features seriously missing.


*80 AOL is classic case of several sins combined. They want to load heavy slow software to give you internet access, they try to take over the internet and control it rather than simlply let you access it and make your own choices. AOL is actually completely outdated at this point but is trying to cling to something in the day of broadband. They are not a broadband provider and cannont get you connected to the internet so they have no legitimate part to play anymore. They are acting as a "Content Provider;" all content can be gotten by simply going to the provider's website, you do not need extra software to get content. AOL is what I consider a "Legal Virus"


*90 Messenger plus is a good example of "Good" adware if used right. Adware is software that is free to the user but paid for by showing them ads. Messenegr plus adds great features to Messenger, and in this case you can opt out of the adware and still get the free application so it's a good thing but must be installed carefully to avoid the unwanted features. If you find it useful, consider sending them a donation instead of using your computer resources to pay for it.